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Topic: Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11  (Read 11939 times)

Offline jlh

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Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11
on: July 06, 2005, 05:42:45 AM
Some of you may have heard it, but I never put it up for audition here yet, so here it is!

The first file is from my senior recital at KU.  The second file is from another recital I did in St. Louis about a month later... funny story about this one... in the second main section there's the familiar FF contrary motion chromatic chords in D Major... well, I went an octave too far on this recital, and had to skip quite a bit of the piece as a result.  Interesting how these things happen during performance... ;)

Anyway, both recordings are here...
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Offline Skeptopotamus

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Re: Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11
Reply #1 on: July 06, 2005, 06:56:46 AM
EDIT!!!***  This little mini-review was based on my listening to the file marked "prokofiev"


hmmmmm.........  As anyone will tell you I am certainly an advocate for candor, and I've noticed that nobody is willing to negatively critique anything on here, so I figured I'd step in on a couple =)  Now don't get me wrong; I enjoyed this recording, but I did have quite a few little, insignificant problems with it.


Firstly, I think it would probably be a good idea to up the tempo enough to get the timing down near 4:15 as opposed to 4:35; shaving 20 seconds shouldn't be very difficult for you to do and would work wonders on the power of this piece, as it is certainly an encore-ish composition and should be played with as much bravado as possible, and speeding it up will increase the general level of excitement.

Also I think the main theme parts (measures 1-24 and the like) should be played a bit more p and a lot less f.  Also I noticed some discrepencies in these sections on volume which is highly frowned upon in say, competitions.  You should strive for complete evenness in tone and volume.  In these sections the little descensions (measures 10 and 20 for example) should be a bit more f.

In measure 28 and other measures like this, the G in the bass clef (using measure 28 as example) should be fff but it is hardly distinguishable from the rest of the bass notes in the passage.  On the third page with the right thirds passages, the lowest bass notes should really be fff; make them stand out.  Horowitz's recording is a good one to strive for in this section.  Also the trills and the note directly following each one in these sections should really stand out.

At the fourth page (the first big, nasty section) you had a bit of a stall transitioning into this; a toccata should be continuous music and even a .3 second stall is noticable and detrimental to the piece.  Normally in a recital recording I wouldn't make a comment about any general missed notes, but I think there were enough that working on your accuracy for this piece would be of great help; I noticed quite a few very distinguishable ones throughout the entire piece but this and the other similar section were the worst, though of course that is to be expected.  Also in this section you had periods of faster and slower playing; again, evenness and fluidity are two major factors in playing this piece properly.  Also the chords at the end of the first big nasty passage should probably be much more staccato and as forte as you possibly can; in fact I would recommend toning down the pedalling a bit throughout most of the piece.

And then we return to the original theme which once again I would advise playing more p, though the evenness was better in this passage than in the first.  The following passage I would recommend also playing with a bit more staccato.  The section where the left handed octaves was very nicely done except there was an extremely noticable tempo discrepency; just hoping that was a one time deal.  If not it is something that should be fixed immeadiately!  The large chord at the end of the short left octaves passage I would think should be ffff as opposed to the notated sff, seeing as how this is what is generally prefered/played.  Again, the next section where it switches to double bass clef and pp the very lowest notes I would play with quite a bit of forte.  Really adds depth and an aura of power to it.  Also in this section I think your trills should be a bit faster and stand out a bit more from the rest of the piece than they do.

The next section, the REALLY nasty one, I thought you played superbly =)  I wouldn't change a thing about it, to be honest, and the section following that was also very well done.  At the beginning of the finale where it is marked pp and a tempo I always play a bit more presto as opposed to the original tempo; I mean it IS the finale ^^  And the ending of your recording was also done very well and I don't really have any complaints on it either.



Just some pointers, and keep in mind a lot of these suggests I'm sure are swayed by my own personal taste, but I would recommend at least trying them out.  Have fun ^^

Offline Skeptopotamus

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Re: Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11
Reply #2 on: July 06, 2005, 07:11:53 AM
After listening to the toccata.mp3 performance I'd have to say I stick by everything I said before, though I did think the pedalling was better in the toccata.mp3 than the prokofiev.mp3.  And I think you did a pretty good job as far as improving your way out of your little problem ^^  I remember one time I was performing and I skipped a movement of Carnaval and I didn't even know until someone had told me XD

Offline Dazzer

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Re: Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11
Reply #3 on: July 14, 2005, 03:26:45 PM
sheesh not every can play it like argerich... i certainly can't play it that fast either... blegh.

Offline Skeptopotamus

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Re: Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11
Reply #4 on: July 15, 2005, 12:01:44 AM
I suggested taking it to 4:15, not 3:40 XD

Offline nicco

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Re: Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11
Reply #5 on: June 26, 2006, 09:07:46 AM
Brilliantly played joshua ;)

Not too fast, not too slow, got the right toccata machine-like feeling.

congratulations  :)
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline jlh

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Re: Prokofiev Toccata Op. 11
Reply #6 on: June 26, 2006, 06:44:32 PM
Brilliantly played joshua ;)

Not too fast, not too slow, got the right toccata machine-like feeling.

congratulations  :)

Thanks!  I know it's not perfect, but how many people do you know that can play this at all?  I actually know a lot of people that can play it, but played well?  Not that many.  I've heard some pretty pathetic performances of it, and it's no real fault of the performers, I'm sure they can play it pretty well while practicing... it's just harder than hell to pull off in a concert situation.  I'd hate trying to record this in a studio -- once through and you're fatigued enough not to be able to do it again.

This is not my best performance of this, but it is the only recording I have of it.  My best performance of it was for a competition in Oklahoma 3 years ago, but they didn't record it...  :(

. ROFL : ROFL:LOL:ROFL : ROFL '
                 ___/\___
  L   ______/             \
LOL "\         [ ] \
  L              \_________)
                 ___I___I___/
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